Sha’ar features acclaimed American drummer and percussionist (and 2007 Music Omi program alumni) David K. Freeman; Israeli-Canadian-American guitarist Oren Neiman; Arentinian-American clarinetist Ivan Barenboim; and American bassist Doug Drewes, According to the arts center, “This musical project explores the various Jewish musical traditions of its members, and uses these traditions to inform the compositions played by the group in an attempt to create a musical language that is coherent and unique to the group, informed by jazz and global music.”
Dig this promo clip of Sha’ar in action:
Sha’ar will perform on February 28 at 6:30pm at Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. A reception will follow with drinks and snacks prepared by a local chef. Admission is $10 (free for Omi members). For tickets and more information, call (518) 392-4747
or visit www.omiartscenter.org.
We’re going to need a bigger bank note.
Richard Dreyfuss from Jaws is coming to Helsinki Hudson on March 15 for “An Evening with Richard Dreyfuss,” in which the Academy Award winner will discuss his film career, political activism, and his civic education initiative in a benefit for Columbia Memorial Health.
Dreyfuss will talk about a number of issues through the Dreyfuss Civics Initiative, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization he founded in 2010 that encourages public school curriculums to cover American government and history.
“We must teach our kids how to run our country with common sense and realism, before it’s time for them to run the country,” he says. “If we don’t, someone else will run this nation and the experiment of government by, for, and of the people will have failed.”
While his organization’s primary goal is supports civic education, Dreyfuss will also cover a number of other issues through the initiative, including environmental problems and substance abuse.
Dreyfuss has accumulated a significant amount of political experience by serving on and participating in educational institutions worldwide. He previously served as Senior Research Advisory Member of St. Antony’s College at Oxford and spent 12 years on the Board of the National Constitution Center, an institution established by Congress to spread knowledge and understanding of the Constitution. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the American Bar Association’s committee for education.
The evening won’t be all politics, though. Dreyfuss will also talk about his acting career and personal experiences behind the scenes of American Graffiti, The Goodbye Girl, Jaws, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as his more recent work on the small screen in shows like “Parenthood” and “Weeds.”
Audience members will have the opportunity to ask Dreyfuss questions about anything and everything, from his close-ups with the famous cinematic shark to his stance on STEM curriculums in schools.
Doors open at 6pm for the March 15 event; The show begins at 8pm. Visit Helsinkihudson.com for more details.
What do allergy medicines, hairspray, insulin, energy drinks, antibiotics, makeup, and coffee have in common?
They’re destroying our waterways and the plants and animals that live there.
Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall, a freshwater ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, will talk about this destructive relationship in her February 27 presentation, “Our Rivers on Drugs,” at the Cary Institute. Wastewater treatment facilities can’t filter out everything, she explains, and contaminants from our households are swimming by unfettered into our neighboring streams and rivers. This infusion of manmade chemicals has gone untested until now.
Dr. Rosi-Marshall and her team tested the waters in New York, Maryland, and Indiana and came to an alarming conclusion: the pharmaceuticals we’ve dumped in our waterways had a significant negative impact on algae respiration and photosynthesis, the latter of which fell by 99 percent in the most extreme cases. Algae acts as a kind of large-scale air filter, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
The team tested for six drugs, including antihistamines, caffeine, an antibiotic, and a medication for diabetes. These are common everyday chemicals in the United States, and now, Dr. Rosi-Marshall can add them to the list of our ongoing offenses against our own biospheres.
“Pharmaceutical pollution is now detected in waters throughout the world,” she wrote in a press release. “Causes include aging infrastructure, sewage overflows, and agricultural runoff. Even when waste water makes it to sewage treatment facilities, they aren’t equipped to remove pharmaceuticals.”
Her presentation at the Cary Institute will elaborate more on how they conducted their study, its conclusions (one of which is the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria), and what we can do to eradicate the problem.
Himself a far-from-invisible presence on the Capital Region music scene, Noyes is most active with the Arch Stanton Quartet, which not long ago toured Egypt and performed at the Cairo International Jazz Festival. Featuring original music inspired by Invisible Man, the program, says the guitarist, is “part book discussion and part music performance, this event is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into Ellison’s work and learn about the composing process.” Accompanying Noyes, who once taught English literature at SUNY Plattsburgh, will be trumpeter Terry Gordon, drummer James Ketterer, and bassist Tony Berman.
The program will take place February 25 at 7pm in the Albany History Room at the Albany Public Library. Admission is free. For more information, call (518) 427-4300 or visit http://www.albanypubliclibrary.org/.
There is indeed a beautiful monotony of shoveling - but it can be a dangerous business if you don't do it safely. Daniel Markowicz, MD, orthopedic surgeon at White Plains Hospital, offers a few tips to reduce the risk of injury to the back, which is particularly susceptible. “Shovel snow in smaller loads, bending at the knees and lifting with your legs rather than your back," says Markowicz, "and step in the direction in which you are throwing the snow to prevent the low back from twisting."
Certain individuals may also be at increased risk for a heart attack when exerting the body in cold weather. “Shoveling snow can increase your blood pressure and heart rate," says Markowicz's colleague, Rafael Torres, MD, medical director of Emergency Medicine at White Plains Hospital. "That, combined with the blood vessel constriction and the resulting decrease of oxygen in the heart that occur in cold weather, can set you up for a heart attack.”
Both doctors advise waiting until you've been awake for at least a half hour before shoveling snow, to let the body and heart wake up. Avoid heavy meals and caffeine before shoveling, and take the time to stretch before heading outside. Those with a history of heart disease or who have had a heart attack should talk to their doctors about whether or not they should be shoveling snow.
And don't forget to take breaks to catch your breath, like Collins' Buddha does: "leaning for a moment on his shovel /before he drives the thin blade again / deep into the glittering white snow."
The 13th annual Bard SummerScape begins on June 25 and runs for eight weeks through August 16th. An array of music, dance, theater, opera, cabaret, and film acts take the stage, though the true star of the SummerScape is the 26th Bard Music Festival.
This year, the festival focuses on Carlos Chávez, the 20th century Mexican composer that influenced the development of modern Latin American music as one of the first composers to reference Mexico’s indigenous beginnings. The festival will showcase a vast amount of his work, with performances by the American Symphony Orchesta (ASO).
The ASO will also perform The Wreckers by Ethel Smyth, an opera based on the impoverished coastal Cornish towns in Britain that extinguished beacons, allowing ships to crash on the rocky shores. Leon Botstein will conduct the performance under the direction of Thaddeus Strassberger.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! will also be performed. Director Daniel Fish “creates a boldly intimate chamber production” of the classic show, according to the SummerScape website (http://fishercenter.bard.edu/summerscape/). The production also includes new music arrangements by Daniel Kluger.
A theater-installation hybrid performance piece titled “Everything by my side” by Fernando Rubio, a contemporary artist from Buenos Aires, features seven actresses in seven pristine white linen beds. Individual audience members remove their shoes, hop in beside them, and listen as they recount vivid childhood memories in intimate whispering voices.
Bessie-award-winner Pam Tanowitz choreographed a postmodern ballet for a debut SummerScape performance featuring the highly-acclaimed American FLUX Quartet. In addition to the nine-dancer show, there will be a world premier of an en pointe solo created specifically for this year’s SummerScape by Ashley Tuttle, former principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre.
In addition, “Reinventing Mexico,” a film series that delves into the way Mexican culture influenced Chávez’s work, will be showing films each weekend from July 11 to August 2. The series starts with Redes (The Wave), with music composed by Chávez’s protégée, Silvestre Revueltas, and ends with a group of international films like John Ford’s adaptation of The Power and the Glory and Sergei Einstein’s unfinished work. An extensive retrospective of surrealist master Luis Buñuel, whose worldly influence on his films is often compared to that of Chávez, will also be showing.
Tony-nominated performer Justin Vivian Bond will present live music and a cabaret every weekend in the Spiegeltent, the Fisher Center’s on-site restaurant. The mirror-lined tent will host a schedule of world-class performers, musicians, and DJs.
Fell and Whitman have been called two of contemporary electronic music’s most restless innovators. Fell focuses on computer-generated work and hails from the English city of Sheffield, a hub of electronic and industrial music in the 1970s and ’80s. Currently in residence at EMPAC, he’s developing a project that merges sound and dance. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Whitman specializes in “truly live” analog mediums and has released dozens of full-length albums, singles, remixes, and compilation tracks.
Here’s footage of the duo at Cafe Oto in London last fall (a solo set by Thomas Ankersmit is first):
Mark Fell and Keith Fullerton Whitman will perform at EMPAC in Troy, New York, on February 21 at 8pm. Tickets to the performance are $18 ($13 students and seniors; $6 RPI students). For more information, call (518) 276-3921 or visit empac.rpi.edu.
In LA, Mays worked with such West Coast cool icons as Buddy Collette, Art Pepper, Harold Land, Shelley Manne, Gerry Mulligan, and Bud Shank before moving into the fusion era with Tom Scott’s LA Express, sitarist Dr. L. Subramanian, and even Frank Zappa, with whom he played clavinet. Once in New York, he performed with the likes of Ron Carter, Al Cohn, Benny Golson, Eddie Daniels, Mel Lewis, Paul Winter, Rufus Reid, and Phil Woods, in addition to many others. Mays is also a respected composer and arranger who’s written for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and film soundtracks (Hamlet, Anamorph, Burn After Reading). So, yeah, he’s what you might call a badass.
Here’s a bit of why:
Bill Mays will perform at Baba Louie’s Back Room in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on February 21 at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information, call (413) or visit www.BerkshiresJazz.org.